herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Diving mask and a condom among items gardai found

Killakee Mountain where Elaine O'Hara's Body was found
Killakee Mountain where Elaine O'Hara's Body was found

GARDAI found objects including a diving mask and a used condom while searching a wooded area near where Elaine O'Hara's remains were discovered, the jury in the trial of Graham Dwyer was told.

The court also heard that waterproof trousers tied to a tree were among the other items found at the second site at Killakee Mountain were.

Detective Garda Mark Collender, in cross-examination by defence barrister Ronan Kennedy, agreed that he had located a number of items a short distance up the road from the initial clearing.

This included wires, twine and insulation tape that was recovered from the felled area of that wood.

He referred to a photograph showing a pair of waterproof trousers tied to a tree. He agreed with Mr Kennedy that another photograph showed a red and black strap tied around a tree. Similar red and black twine was photographed in another area, and a number of tied bottles were photographed.

Another photograph showed a bull clip and the court heard a number of these were found in the area.

blades

There was a picture showing a diving mask, and another of a number of items that had been found in a black binliner. There was a pair of grey trousers and denim shorts. Other items photographed included two orange hacksaw blades with black tape on them, cycling shorts, a white t-shirt, a jumper and various cable ties.

Referring to fishing lines tied between two trees, or at least between branches, Det Gda Collender said he could not recall seeing this but he did recall a fishing line in a separate area.

Garda Fionnuala Whelan, who also gave evidence previously, told Mr Kennedy a condom and wrapper had been located at 12pm on September 16, 2013. It was marked with a brown paper evidence bag placed over it but it was not seized until September 21.

She told Mr Kennedy it had appeared "very fresh" and she believed it had only been there for a few days and not longer than a week or two.

The gardai believed it was not relevant and only seized it on the later date as a precaution.

Mr Kennedy put it to Garda Whelan that in a statement she had said that two condoms and a wrapper were pointed out to her on September 16 and she seized them and placed them in an evidence bag.

"That was an error on my part," she said, adding there was only one condom.

"It's a pretty substantial error," Mr Kennedy said.

The jury heard Mr Dwyer was arrested after answering the door at his home when gardai arrived with a search warrant on October 16, 2013.

Sergeant Brian O'Keeffe said items were seized and two cars, an Audi and Landrover, taken away for examination.

Mr Dwyer's workplace - A & D Wejchert at Lower Baggot Street in Dublin were also searched on October 17, 2013.

Items seized included two laptops, a memory stick, computer towers, mobile phone records from 2011 and documents.

hnews@herald.ie

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