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Daughter tells of moment dad was stabbed

A BROTHER and sister have described the moment their father was killed during a confrontation following Junior Cert result celebrations two years ago.

They were giving evidence in the trial of a 23-year-old Dublin man charged with murdering the father-of-three, and injuring them, their mother and uncle.

David Brannock, of St Joseph's Way, Ballymun, is charged with murdering Jason Flannery, causing serious harm to John O'Neill and assault causing harm to Jade Byrne, Anthony Byrne and Claire Byrne on September 13, 2012.

Mr Brannock has pleaded not guilty to all five offences and went on trial yesterday at the Central Criminal Court.

Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, told the jury that all five offences arose from a violent confrontation in the early hours at St Joseph's Way, Poppintree, Ballymun.

Jade Byrne testified that she was 16 at the time and had argued with the accused in her friend's house while celebrating her Junior Cert results. She said that it didn't seem serious and she returned home, where the celebrations continued.

She said that the accused arrived there later. Everything was fine at first, she said, but there was another argument and he was asked to leave.

She said that she and her family heard banging on a front window about 20 minutes later and that her father and brother went outside, where they saw the accused running away. She said they chased him towards St Joseph's Way and that she, her uncle and mother followed separately.

"He stabbed my brother before we got to his house," she testified. "My Da ran in at him then, when he saw my brother's head was stabbed. That's when he stabbed my Da."

She said that her father fell to the ground and that another family member asked him to get up.

"It was like he was struggling to catch his breath and he said: 'I can't'. Then he just died," she said. "He [the accused] was kicking him in the head when he was dead and saying: 'I hope he's dead'."

She said she later told the accused to look at what he had done.

"He grabbed me by my arm and smashed a bottle across my back," she said.

She said that she was taken by ambulance to hospital, where she received five stitches and a tetanus shot.

KICKED

Mr McGinn told the jury that John O'Neill had tried to pull David Brannock off his brother-in-law but had been struck too. Claire Byrne said she was kicked on the ground, he said.

Mr Flannery died at the scene. John O'Neill received serious stab wounds, spent a week in intensive care and a month in hospital.

"The prosecution case is that David Brannock, having been forced out of the house, armed himself with a knife and returned to lure them out of the house," said Mr McGinn.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Carroll Moran a jury of five women and seven men.

hnews@herald.ie


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