Saturday 25 October 2014

Eugene Cullen murder trial: Prosecution maintains case is based on 'circumstantial evidence'

Niamh O’Donoghue

Published 14/03/2014 | 16:29

15/3/09 Seamus O'Byrne, age 25 . Collect picture of Seamus O'Byrne who was shot dead at Tymon North Park on Friday night. Picture:Collins
Property of Collins Photos, Exclusively Only For Use in thr Irish Independent
Seamus O'Byrne Pic: Collins

The prosecution has told the jury in the trial of a 30-year-old man accused of murdering a father-of two, that the case is based in circumstantial evidence.

Eugene Cullen of Derry Road, Crumlin has pleaded not guilty to murdering Seamus O' Byrne (27) at Tymon Park North, Tallaght, on March 13, 2009.

The Central Criminal Court has heard that Mr O’Byrne was shot dead by a hooded gunman outside his home in front of his girlfriend and child.

It has also heard his girlfriend Sharon Rattigan tackled the assassin and was shot in the leg while seizing the gun from him.

The prosecution alleges that Mr Cullen was not the gunman but one of four men involved in plotting, planning and executing the murder.

Today Mr Alex Owens SC prosecuting told the jury in his closing speech that the case was based on circumstantial evidence.

Mr Owens submitted that a lot of cases involve circumstantial evidence but said it was the prosecution’s case that Mr Cullen was intimately involved in the planning of the murder and as an accessory.

Mr Owens submitted that Mr Cullen was in the Tymon area and travelled to Coolock afterwards the shooting incident took place.

He told the jury that a number of phones, which were all on the same network, were important to the prosecution’s case.

Mr Owens said a mobile found in a Nissan Primera only began operating on the day of the murder and that Mr Cullen had admitted ownership of that phone.

“All of these phones are essentially a job lot brought in especially to do this murder,” he said.

He also submitted that Mr Cullen’s responses when interviewed by gardai about what he was doing the night of the shooting should be examined by the jury.

“Here is a man that admitted that he spent the night buzzing around in the Primera,” he said.

He also submitted that Mr Cullen’s fingerprints were on a bag containing rainwear found in the back of a stolen van, which had been abandoned near the scene.

He alleged the rainwear, which he referred to as “murdering couture”, was similar to that worn by the gunman in CCTV footage,

“It implicates Mr Cullen again in another way,” Mr Owens told the jury.

“We say it is and overwhelming case,” he added.

Defence counsel and Mr Justice Barry White will address the jury of five men and seven women on Tuesday.

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