Saturday 24 June 2017

'I only meant to scare him' - knife murder defendant (65)

Donal Colgan has pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Sheridan in August 2014
Donal Colgan has pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Sheridan in August 2014

Eoin Reynolds

A murder accused who stabbed a man four times during a row outside a chip shop said he wanted only to frighten the deceased, who he claimed had attacked him first.

Donal Colgan (65), of Killarney Court, Killarney Street, Dublin, pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Sheridan (45), outside Luigi's on the North Strand Road on August 17, 2014.

The accused gave evidence at the Central Criminal Court, telling defence counsel Patrick Marrinan SC he "lost it" after being attacked by Mr Sheridan and another man.

He said he wanted to frighten them and picked up the first weapon he could find.

The self-described loner said he was on his way home after drinking about 10 pints of cider in the Sunset House when he decided to go to Luigi's for chips. He said there were "angry words" between some of the younger customers. He said Mr Sheridan, who was with another man named Gary Kinlan, then said something so he turned and said: "Leave it out you lads, there is after being enough trouble today."

As he walked out of the shop minutes later, Mr Kinlan said to him: "Who are you looking at?" He replied: "What's your problem?" or "What's up with you?"

Mr Colgan said Mr Kinlan then punched him five or six times in the face before David Sheridan emerged from the chip shop and kicked him. He said he fell to the ground when Mr Kinlan hit him with a bag of cans. When Mr Colgan got away, he said he was "raging".

"I lost everything and I felt humiliated," he said. "Here I am, 60 odd years of age, getting attacked by two fellas."

He went home and looked for a weapon. "If there had been a hurley stick there I would have picked it up," he said. Instead, he saw a knife, the court heard.

When he arrived at Luigi's he said Mr Sheridan attacked him again and he hit out with the knife.

"I don't remember much of what happened after that," he said. Mr Colgan agreed that he returned home, went to bed and got up at 6am to go to work.

He heard about the stabbing on the 1pm news and that evening he went back to the Sunset House, where people were talking about the stabbing.

"I did not think I was after doing much damage," he said, but as the day went on "slowly it came back to me about the fight and the argument at Luigi's".

He was arrested the next morning on his way to work.

Speaking to prosecution counsel Paul Burns SC, he agreed that he had lied to gardaí when they arrested him, telling them he had not gone to Luigi's.

He also agreed CCTV footage appeared to show Mr Sheridan backing away moments before the knife attack. "It looks like that alright," he replied.

The trial continues before Justice Carmel Stewart and a jury.

Irish Independent

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