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Dad shot dead in egg-throwing row 'pretended to have weapon'

teenage witnesses have given video-link evidence in the murder trial of an 18-year-old Dublin teenager accused of shooting dead his 50-year-old neighbour.

The witnesses, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court that Aidan O'Kane emerged from his East Wall home in December 2008, wearing a biker jacket and balaclava, and ran at a group of teenagers who were on the street.

One witness described hearing panicked screams of "he has a gun" because Mr O'Kane kept his hands behind his back.

The witness said the mechanic had paced up and down the street, saying to one youth "come on, be a hard man, I'll have you".

The court has heard that Mr O'Kane decided to confront a group of local youths after they had thrown eggs at his house at around 6.30pm on December 7, 2008.



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He had suffered "months of torment" at the hands of neighbouring teenagers who would taunt him and throw eggs at his house, according to his son Dylan O'Kane (26), who has given evidence in the case.

He said his father had first befriended the young people when he moved into the East Wall area, and would fix bikes and motorbikes for them and also allow them to take drugs in his house.

After the house was pelted with eggs, Mr O'Kane said his father changed into a leather jacket and balaclava and armed himself with a retractable baton, before going outside to confront the teenagers

Mr O'Kane was shot in the chest in a laneway off Bargy Road and pronounced dead at the Mater around an hour later.

Conor Duffy, of St Mary's Road, East Wall, denies murder. He has also pleaded not guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm and ammo and having a firearm without a licence.

Giving video-link evidence yesterday, a 17-year-old witness said Mr O'Kane was walking backwards down the street after he had ran at the group of youths, when Duffy appeared on a bike and began to zig-zag slowly in front of him.

The witness said Mr O'Kane appeared to be getting frustrated and then he heard someone scream at Duffy to run.

He saw Duffy jump off the bike and throw it down in front of Mr O'Kane, before running into a laneway off Bargy Road, with the mechanic giving chase.

As the witness followed the two into the lane, he heard a loud bang and saw a flash of light. Then he saw Mr O'Kane lying on the ground with his son Dylan at his side wrapping a jacket around him.

He said he had seen something glisten near Duffy and thought it may have been a gun.

A 13-year-old witness told the court he used to hang around with Duffy, and was present on the night of the shooting.

He described how he had seen Mr O'Kane keeping his hand in his jacket as he walked down the lane, and thought he had a gun or a weapon.



COMPLAINTS

When he heard a loud bang from the lane he thought it was his friend who had been shot because of the way "Aido" had pretended to have a gun.

Witness Garda Barry Maguire also told the court that he had received complaints from neighbours about young people being in Mr O'Kane's house and had paid a visit there to tell him it was inappropriate to have groups of teenagers in his home.

The case continues.

hnews@herald.ie