Jury fails to reach a verdict in Shane Geoghegan murder trial
Published 24/03/2011 | 05:00
THE man charged with the murder of rugby player Shane Geoghegan will face a retrial after a jury failed to reach a verdict following the lengthy case.
After four days of deliberations, the 10-person jury told Mr Justice Paul Carney in the Central Criminal Court yesterday evening that they could not reach agreement.
Barry Doyle (25) of Portland Row, Dublin, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Shane Geoghegan (28) on November 9, 2008.
The Garryowen rugby player was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity near his home in Clonmore, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, Limerick.
Two members of the jury panel had been discharged from the deliberations in recent days. One man had to take a flight while another was excused due to the illness of a relative.
Earlier this week, the jury asked the judge for clarification on what constitutes murder.
The 10 remaining jurors -- five women and five men -- had spent almost 15-and-a-half hours deliberating the case.
At 5pm yesterday, the jury informed Mr Justice Carney that they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
Because two of the jury had already been discharged, the option of a majority verdict was not available to them.
The judge thanked the jury for their service and excused them from any further service for the rest of their lives.
Mr Justice Carney put Barry Doyle's case back into the courts list to fix a date for a retrial.
Mr Geoghegan's family and his girlfriend, Jenna Barry, sat with their heads bowed and remained silent following the end of the trial. Mr Doyle smiled at his parents before he left the court.
During the trial, in videotaped garda interviews, Mr Doyle admitted shooting Mr Geoghegan, but his solicitors argued that garda detectives had induced him into making the confession.
Earlier this month, the court was told that Mr Doyle was arrested on suspicion of the murder on February 24, 2009, and taken to Bruff Garda station in Limerick.
The court was told that Mr Doyle said to officers: "I seen someone walking across the estate. I got out of the car and shot him."
He then chased the victim "around the back of the house", where he found Mr Geoghegan "on the ground, up against the wall", clutching his side.
Mr Doyle said he then shot him twice in the head. Asked if Mr Geoghegan said anything to him, Mr Doyle replied: "Please stop."
The court was also told that Mr Doyle said he had never met Mr Geoghegan before and was sorry he had shot him.
Mr Geoghegan's relatives attended each day of the case.
It is not known when the retrial will take place.