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Friday 29 August 2014

Graffiti on wall of cell bragged about Melanie murder, trial told

Published 15/01/2014 | 02:30

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Melanie McCarthy-McNamara
Melanie McCarthy-McNamara
Daniel McDonnell

A JURY has been told that the teenager charged with murdering 16-year-old Melanie McCarthy McNamara allegedly bragged about shooting her in graffiti on his cell wall.

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A prosecutor told his trial that, while being investigated for her killing two years ago, Daniel McDonnell wrote on his cell wall: 'Two in the head. Your bitch is dead.'

McDonnell, of Brookview Lawns in Tallaght, Dublin, went on trial at the Central Criminal Court yesterday, charged with murdering the teenager.

She was shot in the head as she sat in the back seat of a car at Brookview Way in Tallaght.

The 19-year-old has pleaded not guilty to her murder on February 8, 2012.

Brendan Grehan, prosecuting, said the prosecution case against Mr McDonnell revolved around the interpretation of what he wrote on his cell wall along with the contents of two letters he handed to a prison officer for posting weeks later.

"The written utterances of Daniel McDonnell are not very savoury," he warned the jury. "They're boastful and bragging. That's a factor that adds to the potency in terms of their evidential value."

The accused was arrested about a week after the shooting and was detained for a number of days at Tallaght garda station, where he occupied a cell on his own.

Mr Grehan said that gardai noticed various pieces of graffiti written on his cell wall, including his name, initials and references that the prosecution says could refer only to Melanie's murder.

They included: 'Moran scummy knacker' and 'Moran Scum', which the prosecution says refer to Ms McNamara's boyfriend, Christopher Moran, who was sitting in front of Melanie when she was shot.

"I'll do 25 on D to life, while you're crying Pikey," continued the graffiti.

Sobbing could be heard in court when Mr Grehan read out the last line: "Two in the head. Your bitch is dead."

The jury was told that it would be shown photographs of the graffiti.

Mr Grehan said that Mr McDonnell was moved to St Patrick's Institution on February 21, where he was again held in a cell on his own on B3 landing.

CLOSE-RANGE

Mr Grehan said that on March 5, the accused presented a prison officer with two letters to be posted.

He said they were in envelopes but not sealed and that the prison officer read them before passing them on to his superior. They were then passed to the gardai.

The prosecutor read extracts that he said were particularly relevant, first from a letter addressed to Lee McDonnell.

"Keep running all them up on to protection because this war ain't stopping. Take my word for it. Close-range head shots. That's what I'm going for. If I get High Court bail I swear on my whole family, them four will be in the ground. I ran CM with his head up his arse," read Mr Grehan.

"Two in the head. The bitch is dead. The silly mother f**k pulled out a hammer. Little did he know I had a loaded 12-guage," he continued. "I'll never forget that mug. Ha ha. The best night of my life," continued the letter.

"We'll make a few plans. Soon enough we'll be running Tallaght. Bunch of bitches up there.

"Show them the McDonnells run the show. McDonnell boys running the kip. Ha Ha," it concluded.

The second letter was addressed to Stephanie Tuite, who Mr Grehan said appeared to be a former girlfriend of the accused.

"I never thought it would turn out like this. I feel like a scum bag. I don't feel it. I am one. I don't know what got into my head," he read.

"That weed shit f**ked me up. I'm sitting in my cell on 23-hour lockup. I'm thinking of the good times I had with you. Love, the one and only Dano McDonnell. The MC will be back with a whack."

"One more thing. That other thing wouldn't have happened if I had known she was in the car. It was meant for the other smell bag.

"He won't get away with bullying my Ma. What goes around f**king comes around. I'm the only one who stuck it back up to them. B3 for life. F**k it. Love you baby girl no-matter what happened. I'll never forget him roaring like a girl crying. Bang bang," it concluded.

The driver of the car in which Melanie was shot then testified that a jeep pulled up beside his car as he sat in it with Melanie and her boyfriend.

"The back driver's window was down and a shot was discharged," said Sean Byrne.

He said that he and Mr Moran didn't realise that Melanie had been shot until he drove away.

"We were asking was everything ok," he recalled. "Melanie didn't reply. She was lying down across the seats. She was choking."

He said they drove to Tallaght hospital, where Melanie was pronounced dead.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Carney and a jury of six men and six women.

Natasha Reid

Irish Independent

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