Thursday 21 September 2017

'Graham would pretend to stab me during sex'

Dwyer's ex tells court he would bring a knife into the bedroom

Witness Emer McShea leaving court yesterday after she gave evidence in the trial of Graham Dwyer (inset)
Picture: Courtpix
Witness Emer McShea leaving court yesterday after she gave evidence in the trial of Graham Dwyer (inset) Picture: Courtpix
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

THE woman in the witness box swept by Graham Dwyer on her way to the stand, making no eye contact.

Though clearly nervous, she seemed determined to give her evidence in as clear and matter-of-fact a manner as was possible under the circumstances.

This was Emer McShea, Graham Dwyer's former girlfriend from their college days in the early 1990s.

Dark-haired and pretty in a black printed floral dress, she spoke in a soft Donegal accent as she addressed the jury.

She had given birth to Graham Dwyer's son Sennan McShea in 1992, she agreed with Sean Guerin SC, prosecuting.

She recalled a discussion about fantasies she and Mr Dwyer had one night where he told her that his fantasy involved "stabbing a woman while having sex with her".

In the body of the court, Mr Dwyer's father, Graham Snr, sank his head in his hands.

"After that, he began to bring a kitchen knife into your shared bedroom and he would pretend to stab you during sex?" Mr Guerin gently put it to her.

"Yes, he would," she said. "But he didn't actually do it," Mr Guerin said, as Ms McShea agreed.

Over the course of the garda investigation into Mr Dwyer, she had been shown a variety of images from CCTV footage from Elaine O'Hara's apartment complex in Belarmine Plaza and identified Mr Dwyer appearing six times, on various dates, mainly over the course of the summer of 2012.

In November last year, Ms McShea arrived home from work and noticed a card addressed to her son.

Realising it was Graham Dwyer's handwriting, she made contact with her son, opening it at his request.

It was a birthday card, and among the text was a comment: "Everything going well here, all forensics clear and we are sure of an aquittal now that we have a mountain of evidence that it was a suicide."

As Ms McShea left the stand, she again moved quickly past Mr Dwyer, without making eye contact.

Sennan McShea was next to be called to the stand.

Tall, slim-framed and attractive, he wore a neatly trimmed beard and a dark suit and his manner was the same as his mother's - nervous but determined.

He agreed with Mr Guerin that in the summer of 2006, he had spent some time in Cork with his grandparents. He had begun smoking in secret that summer and was 14 at the time.

"Your grandmother found some cigarettes and you knew she had told Graham Dwyer," Mr Guerin said.

He had planned on telling him himself but "hadn't actually got around to it".

When he did tell him, Mr Dwyer "hit the roof" and gave him a lecture on the dangers of smoking and was "very upset by it," said Mr Guerin, as Mr McShea agreed.

He told the court of a meeting he'd had with his father in July 2012, while living in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal.

His father had contacted him to say that he was working on a hospital in Letterkenny and had collected him and brought him to Bundoran.

Like his mother, he had identified images of his father taken from the CCTV footage at Belarmine plaza.

And he agreed that in November 2014, his mother had called him to say a birthday card had arrived for him and asked what he wanted to do with it.

He gave her permission to open it and pass it on to detectives.

Leaving the stand, he too avoided making any eye contact with his father.

Mr Dwyer's younger brother, Brendan Dwyer, then took the stand, telling the court of the last time he met his brother at Blind Strand in Cork in early September 2013, along with a family group.

It had been their third consecutive trip there.

Irish Independent

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