Saturday 23 February 2019

'I'm not making this up - it's serious', murder trial witness tells court

Ryan Bradley’s lawyer was questioning the witness. Photo: Collins Courts
Ryan Bradley’s lawyer was questioning the witness. Photo: Collins Courts

A murder trial witness has denied that she was mistaken when she said she saw two men hold up the deceased so he could be hit by a car.

Danielle Cusack was giving evidence in the trial of a man and his three sons, who deny murdering a gunman who fired two shots at their home.

Paul Bradley (54) and his sons Jason (20), Dean (24), and Ryan (18), of Liscarne Gardens, Dublin 22, have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Neil Reilly (36), at Esker Glebe in Lucan, Dublin, on January 18, 2017.

Ms Cusack told prosecution counsel Paul Murray SC that she saw a car drive over Mr Reilly three times.

On the second occasion, she said two men held him up and let go at the last second as the car reversed into him.

Caroline Biggs SC, for Ryan Bradley, told Ms Cusack that no other witness saw this and counsel suggested that it did not happen.

The witness said: "I saw what I saw and I have to live with this for the rest of my life."

Ms Biggs put it to her that CCTV footage suggested the incident could not have lasted for more than about 20 seconds.

The witness said her memory could be wrong on the time but she saw what she saw.

"I'm not making this up," she said, adding that she came to court to "do the right thing".

"This is serious. Do you think I want to sit here and go through all this for something that didn't happen?," she added.

The witness accepted that she did not mention seeing Mr Reilly being held up when she wrote down what she had seen days after the incident.

She added that she had left a lot of things out of that written account and only wrote it as an exercise to help her deal with the trauma.


She gave a full statement to gardai in August 2017, about seven months after the incident.

She delayed speaking to gardai, she said, because she was studying for her final veterinary medicine exams. She had been studying for 10 years at that point, having been told for years she was not clever enough.

Despite the trauma, she went back to college on the Monday after the incident because she could not afford to miss any classes and while she always intended to give a statement, she could not do so at the time.

Counsel for each of the accused suggested to her that her account of the man being held up was mistaken. The witness disagreed with each of them.

Previously, Ms Cusack told the court she heard men laughing as Mr Reilly cried out in pain after being hit by the car.

She broke down in tears as she told the court how she gave the dying man the Act of Contrition on the roadside.

She told the court she was awoken in the early hours by a loud bang and looked outside of her apartment window, where she saw the dying man staggering down the road before being struck by a car.

Two or three men then attacked him, kicking, striking and "dragging out of him".

She then saw two of them pick him up and hold him while the car reversed into him.

The driver of the car then got out and looked, before getting back into the car and driving over the man a third time.

The trial continues today in front of Mr Justice Paul Coffey and a jury.

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