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Shooting victim allowed teenagers to take drugs in his home, court told

THE son of a man who was shot dead after confronting a group of youths who had thrown eggs at his house, has told the murder trial his father allowed local teenagers to take drugs in his home in an effort to befriend them.

However, before his father Aidan O'Kane (50) was shot dead, he had been "harassed by teenagers for months on end".

Dillon O'Kane (26), was giving evidence on the opening day of the murder trial of Conor Duffy (18), who has denied murdering Aidan O'Kane at East Wall in Dublin when he was 16 years old.

Mr O'Kane, a mechanic, died in December 2008 after being shot in the chest. Duffy, of Saint Mary's Road, East Wall, has also denied unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, and having a firearm without a licence.

The court heard that Mr O'Kane had befriended a large group of local teenagers when he first moved to East Wall a year prior to his death.

He would fix bikes and motorbikes for them and also allowed them to take drugs in his house.

In his evidence, Dillon O'Kane told the court his father had suffered "months of torment" from local youths, and on the night in question had decided to "get one of them" after eggs were thrown at his house on the evening of December 7, 2008.

Dillon O'Kane said he tried to talk him out of it, but his father put on a leather jacket and a black balaclava and armed himself with a retractable baton.

When his father left the house, the witness heard a teenager scream "he has a gun".

Dillon O'Kane, who had also changed into a leather jacket, denied that he was to help his father get one of the youths, and said he only wanted to ensure that he did not get beaten up by a group.

He saw his father walk into a laneway between Bargy Road and Shelmalier Road, and by the time the witness got there, his father was crouched down with the baton facing Conor Duffy, whom he said was pointing a gun at his father.

He heard a shot and then saw Duffy running away, as his father fell to his knees and then onto his back.

When he ran to his side, his father was having trouble breathing and was unable to talk. He lifted his father's shirt but could not see where he had been shot. He shouted at a neighbour to call for an ambulance.

Dillon O'Kane said he put his father on his side and kept talking to him until paramedics arrived.





intimidate

During cross-examination, Duffy's defence counsel, Sean Gillane SC, asked Dillon O'Kane if his father had put on the balaclava in order to intimidate the youths.

"He covered his face to become scarier. If you are going up against a gang of young people you do anything you can," he responded.

The witness denied, however, that his father was "anxious" to create the impression he had a gun, but admitted the teenagers may have believed Mr O'Kane had a firearm because someone had screamed "he has a gun".

When asked why his father had said, "I'll blast yis", Dillon O'Kane said his father was probably replying to or "mirroring" threats that the teenagers were making to him.

Dillon O'Kane also admitted that he told a local youth to get rid of the baton his father had been carrying, because he didn't want him "to get into trouble".

He said he only found out after his father's death that there had been complaints from gardai about the drug-taking in his house.

The case continues.

hnews@herald.ie