herald

Sunday 16 December 2018

Murder accused admitted he shot Shane, court told

Mistake: Dublin man thought victim was someone else, trial hears

THE Dublin man charged with murdering rugby player Shane Geoghegan admitted shooting him in the back of the head in a case of mistaken identity, his trial has heard.

Barry Doyle (24), with addresses at Portland Row, Dublin; and Hyde Road, Limerick, has pleaded not guilty to murdering the 28-year-old Garryowen player.

Mr Geoghegan was shot dead near his home in Clonmore, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, Limerick, on November 9, 2008.

"He admitted to the shooting of Shane Geoghegan," said prosecutor Tom O'Connell, referring to video-taped interviews that the accused gave investigating gardai.

"He admitted that he fired seven or eight shots," he said, explaining that this coincided with ballistics evidence found at the scene.

"He admitted following Shane Geoghegan into the back garden of a house in Clonmore, shooting him in the head," he said.

Mr Doyle said he had also shot him before he fled for the garden, he added.

"He told the guards the gun jammed and that he pulled back the slide two or three times, which is confirmed by the finding of the two undischarged casings on the street outside," he told the jury.

"He admitted that he never met Shane Geoghegan before, that Shane Geoghegan was an innocent man," he said. "In other words not the intended target, but a case of mistaken identity."

Mr O'Connell explained that the deceased was on his way home to his girlfriend, Jenna Barry, shortly before 1am that Sunday. He had captained Garryowen that Saturday and had watched a rugby match in a friend's house afterwards.

He said that Ms Barry last heard from her boyfriend at 12.54am by text message. She heard shots between five and 10 minutes later, looked outside and saw a person running.

The stolen Renault Espace, which the prosecution says was the getaway car, was found on fire nearby at 1.12am.

Sustained

Mr O'Connell also told the jury that it would hear from State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy, who carried out the post-mortem examination on the victim.

"She will tell you that he sustained five gunshots to the head and trunk, one to the back of the head, one to the left shoulder, one to the right of the back, one to the upper arm and one to the abdomen," he said.

"There were injuries to his brain, right lung, ribs and pelvis," he continued. "The wound to the back of his head transacted the brain stem."

He explained that once Mr Geoghegan had sustained this injury to his brain, he would have died rapidly.

The weapon was never discovered, he added.

"He was murdered by the killer, shooting him five times with a Glock pistol," he said, explaining that the killer had discharged eight shots in all, intending to kill him.

He told the jurors that once Barry Doyle's involvement would be proven, they would be satisfied that he was guilty of murder 'as sure as night follows day'.

The trial before Mr Justice Paul Carney is expected to last up to four weeks.

hnews@herald.ie

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