Wednesday 17 July 2019

Murder accused told his mother 'I didn't mean it', court told

Accused Anthony Walsh. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Accused Anthony Walsh. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

The mother of a man accused of murder has told of her "deep shock" when her son broke down and told her he had killed someone.

Marie Walsh and husband Hugh told the Central Criminal Court they met Anthony the morning after he beat Dermot Byrne (54) to death outside a school at North Street, Swords, on July 16 last year.

Mr Walsh (31) has pleaded not guilty to Mr Byrne's murder but guilty to manslaughter and to stealing a bank card, keys and a lighter from him.

Mrs Walsh told prosecutor Vincent Heneghan that her son joined them at a restaurant in The Square, Tallaght, the day after the incident.

His knuckles on both hands were red, so she asked: "What's wrong?" She said he wept as he told her: "There's big trouble. I don't know what to do."

Mr Walsh then used his father's phone to make some calls and, when he came back, he told them he had been in a fight, that the other person kept coming after him and would not leave.

"He's dead," he said. "I didn't mean to do it. I didn't mean to kill him."

He left the restaurant soon afterwards with a new phone his father had bought him.


Mrs Walsh said she was in "deep shock" when she spoke to gardai in Dundrum that afternoon.

Earlier, the jury heard from taxi driver Olubusayo Akinbote, who gave a man a lift from North Street to Cabra the night Mr Byrne died.

He told Mr Heneghan the man was stocky, had a thick Irish accent, was carrying a bag and may have been drinking.

When they arrived in Cabra, the man got out and refused to pay the fare. He was "bouncing to fight", the taxi driver said and added: "He asked me to come and fight for my money." The driver left.

Retired garda Niall Jones told of his "horror" at finding Mr Byrne's body on the steps of a community school in Swords at around 2.50am.

He saw out of the corner of his eye what he initially thought was an inflatable dummy at the top of a set of seven steps leading to the entrance to Swords Community College.

Thinking it looked very lifelike, he decided to take a closer look. He added: "To my horror, I saw a naked body lying down."

Mr Jones called 999 and attempted resuscitation, but when paramedic William Howard arrived, he found no pulse and decided the man was dead.

The trial continues before Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of six men and six women.

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