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Murder accused 'with women in hotel' at time of killing, trial told

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Michael Barr was shot dead at the Sunset House pub in 2016

Michael Barr was shot dead at the Sunset House pub in 2016

Michael Barr was shot dead at the Sunset House pub in 2016

A man accused of murder at a pub in north inner city Dublin says he was with two women in a hotel around the time of the shooting, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Liverpool native David Hunter (41), of Du Cane Road, White City, London, is pleading not guilty to the murder of Michael Barr (35) at the Sunset House pub in Summerhill, Dublin, on the night of April 25, 2016.

Appearing by video link from Liverpool, Mr Hunter's ex-girlfriend Jordanna Kiely told defence counsel Roisin Lacey SC that the pair arrived in Dublin by ferry on April 23 and spent a large part of the week drinking and taking drugs.

On the day of the shooting, Ms Kiely and a recently arrived friend went shopping and drinking for the day without Mr Hunter.

His legal team says he met the two women at the Travelodge in Swords at 9pm - around the time of the shooting.

The court has heard that Tyrone native Mr Barr, the pub's manager, was shot seven times in all after two men wearing rubber masks over their faces entered the pub at around 9pm.

Ms Lacey told the witness her instructions were that Mr Hunter met Ms Kiely and Stacy Franey at the hotel at 9pm, upon their return from their day out. Counsel asked if Ms Kiely could remember the meeting.

Arguing

"Yes, but I've no clue about times. We would usually meet up for food at around 9pm," said Ms Kiely, who said that the couple were arguing and that she asked her friend, Ms Franey, to join them.

Ms Franey took an overnight ferry and arrived in Dublin between 6am and 7am on April 25.

Ms Kiely told Ms Lacey that she could not remember a lot of the week due to the amount of drinking all three did and the hotel names "didn't ring a bell".

However, she said that on the night of April 25, 2016, all three went out to Temple Bar after meeting in the hotel.

The pair rowed over the presence of Ms Franey, which angered Mr Hunter.

Ms Franey told prosecuting barrister Dominic McGinn SC that the couple were "nearly not speaking, it was hostile" when she and Ms Kiely went on their shopping trip but "couldn't say 100pc" what night it was.

Ms Lacey, referencing statements, said that her client's phone battery had died, that Ms Kiely kept the chargers in her handbag and that both women thought he might already be back at the hotel as they ended their shopping trip, to which Ms Franey agreed.

"David Hunter thinks that you met up around 9pm, does that sound right to you?" asked Ms Lacey.

"It sounds fair enough but it was late when we got back," said Ms Franey, who added that the night out in Temple Bar was "a bit blurry to be honest - cocktails and brandy don't mix".

The trial continues.