Saturday 10 December 2016

Homeless man had €150,000, murder trial told

Alison O'Riordan

Published 06/05/2015 | 02:30

A homeless man whose body was found on fire in a Dublin park had almost €150,000 in funds just weeks beforehand
A homeless man whose body was found on fire in a Dublin park had almost €150,000 in funds just weeks beforehand

A homeless man whose body was found on fire in a Dublin park had almost €150,000 in funds just weeks beforehand, a jury heard.

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The prosecution was opening its case in the trial of a 29-year-old man charged with murdering Gerard Donnelly in 2013.

Ciaran Moran, with an address at Camden Hall, Camden Street in Dublin, is charged with murdering Mr Donnelly at an unknown time during November 28 or 29, 2013.

Mr Moran was arraigned before the Central Criminal Court yesterday. Dressed in a pink polo shirt and navy tracksuit bottoms, he pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Donnelly in the Phoenix Park.

Caroline Biggs SC explained that Mr Donnelly's left little toe had been freshly amputated and that he had a v-shaped wound to a thumb, when his body was found in the Phoenix Park.

Ms Biggs said that the State was not in a position to specify an exact time of death, but that it was some time in the late hours of November 28 and the early hours of November 29, when a garda and a number of witnesses noticed a fire.

She said gardaí found Mr Donnelly's body on fire, with an aerosol can in his crotch area.

She said that State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy gave the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head and noted areas of fire damage under the head and neck.

She said the deceased was identified through DNA testing.

The barrister said the jury had to decide whether the accused had caused Mr Donnelly's death and whether he had the necessary intention.

She said that on October 29, the deceased was in possession of €8,500 and had an EBS bank book showing a balance of €140,000.

She said the accused attended a Christening on November 30, became intoxicated, was hospitalised and apprehended.

"He made certain, significant admissions in relation to causing the death," she concluded.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan and a jury of nine men and three women.

Irish Independent

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