herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Dad held dying son in his arms after shooting

THE father of a Dublin man killed over six years ago held his dying son in his arms just moments after he had been shot in the back with a shotgun, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

The court was hearing evidence in the sentence of Aidan Finnegan, who has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Dara McCormack (24) in Whitestown, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.



Murder

The 31-year-old, of Whitestown Avenue, Hartstown, Blanchardstown, had been charged with the murder of Mr McCormack on February 11, 2006.

In April, Finnegan pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Mr McCormack. This plea was accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Detective Sergeant Michael Kennedy agreed with Bernard Condon, prosecuting, that a number of residents of Whitestown park described how they ran outside their homes after hearing a loud bang on the evening of February 11, 2006.

He agreed that one witness described two men dressed in black standing beside Dara, who said, "please don't shoot" while kicking out with his legs in an effort to defend himself.

Det Sgt Kennedy agreed that Mr McCormack's father, Thomas McCormack, arrived on the scene, knelt by his dying son and asked "Who f***ing shot you?', to which Dara McCormack replied that "Aidan" had shot him.

Thomas McCormack said that when he asked his son if Aidan Finnegan had shot him, Dara replied "Yeah" before saying "I'm going to die, I can't breathe".

Det Sgt Kennedy said Mr McCormack told his son he was not going to die, to which Dara replied, "I am Da, I am, I can't breathe".

He agreed with Mr Condon that a post mortem examination conducted by Professor Marie Cassidy found that Dara McCormack died from a shotgun blast to the back which caused blood loss and damaged most of the major internal organs including the heart and liver.

Det Sgt Kennedy said that Dara's sister Tammy McCormack told gardai that she had received a text message from her brother asking if she had €200 to lend.



Demand

He agreed that an analysis of Dara McCormack's phone recovered a text message demanding money from a mobile number saved as AD3, which was subsequently linked to Aidan Finnegan.

Det Sgt Kennedy agreed with Mr Condon that Aidan Finnegan was a family friend of the McCormack's, and that he and Dara had "essentially grown up together".

Det Sgt Kennedy agreed with counsel for the defence, Patrick Marrinan, that Finnegan had offered to plead guilty to manslaughter three years ago, but the plea was not accepted at the time.

He agreed that a garda investigation in to the shooting led detectives to believe that Finnegan and another man had been looking for money from Dara McCormack as payment for drugs.

Mr Justice Paul Carney remanded Finnegan in custody for sentence finalisation on June 18 next.

hnews@herald.ie

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