Accused said player's killing was 'worst in years', court told
Published 04/02/2012 | 05:00
THE man accused of murdering rugby player Shane Geoghegan agreed with investigating gardai that the killing was the worst crime the country had seen in years.
The Dublin man's trial was hearing evidence of a dozen interviews conducted with him when he was arrested on suspicion of the 28-year-old's murder.
Barry Doyle (26), of Portland Row, Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Geoghegan on November 9, 2008, at Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, in Limerick. The Garryowen player was shot near his home in a case of mistaken identity.
Detective Garda Mark Philips of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation told the Central Criminal Court that he interviewed Mr Doyle a number of times following his arrest in February 2009.
The father of three told Det Gda Philips and Detective Garda Brian Hanley that he had personal reasons for moving from Dublin to Limerick the previous year, but didn't want to talk about them.
However, he said that the reason he left Ireland for about a month before Christmas 2008 was to get a break from "my birds", "the kids' Mas".
He was asked what he thought about the people who shot Shane Geoghegan.
"Vicious," he replied.
However, Mr Doyle denied any involvement and said that he had never even seen a gun.
"This crime you're arrested for is the worst this country has seen in years. Do you agree?" he was asked.
He said he did. He also agreed that it would be a comfort to Mr Geoghegan's family to know that he was shot in a case of mistaken identity.
He was asked what Mr Geoghegan screamed as he chased him.
"I didn't chase him," replied the accused. "I wasn't there."
He said he could see how it was hard for them to believe him.
In another interview, Det Gda Philips read extracts from an interview conducted with Victoria Gunnery, the mother of Mr Doyle's youngest child.
He said he could not remember being in touch with her before and immediately after the murder, but accepted it if she said he was.
He couldn't remember turning his phone off that night either, but again accepted he did if Ms Gunnery had said so.
"Sometimes it goes dead," he said, but added that it was not usual for him to turn it off.
He also couldn't remember fighting with her by text message that night, but accepted he must have done so.
"If she says it, it's the truth. She has no reason to lie," he said.
He said that when he returned to Ireland at Christmas, he spent New Year's Eve with Ms Gunnery.
He said they had fought over "something stupid" but could not remember what and couldn't remember the last time he had seen her.
"Vicki is arrested as part of this investigation and is being questioned just like you," he was told.
"I'm thinking of Vicki," he replied. "I don't want Vicki involved in this."
Mr Doyle then requested to speak to his solicitor and the interview ended.
The trial continues on Monday before Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and a jury.