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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Murder scene was like a 'horror show', court hears

John Hannigan

Published 24/02/2014 | 17:35

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Justice Paul Carney. Photo: Collins

A Tipperary man accused of murder described the scene in which the deceased was assaulted as like a ‘bloodbath’ and ‘horror show’, his trial has heard.

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A detective was giving evidence of an interview he conducted with Clonmel man John Hannigan during the investigation into the murder of his friend two years ago.

Mr Hannigan (46) of River House, New Quay has pleaded not guilty to murdering Anthony Fallon in Clonmel on January 18, 2012.

He has also pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm on the 46-year-old on the same date at Mr Fallon’s flat on Abbey Street in the town.

Detective Garda John O’Gorman told the Central Criminal Court that he interviewed the accused the following week.

He testified today that Mr Hannigan said another man, Joseph O’Riordan, had assaulted the deceased in Mr Fallon’s flat while they were drinking there that morning.

“He stood up and grabbed a chair he was sitting on and hit Anthony full force on the head,” he said.

“He started bleeding from the head. It was like turning on a tap,” he continued.

“He was destroyed,” he told detectives. “It was like a horror show.”

He said there was a one-inch gash on the victim’s head.

“I seen blood spurt,” he said.

Mr Hannigan was asked if he had been violent to Mr Fallon.

“Not really, no,” he replied, explaining that he had hit him in the chest in an attempt to break up the fight.

“The state of the place; it was like a bloodbath,” he said.

“Joe O’Riordan grabbed a kettle from the kitchen and gave him a belt on top of the head,” he said.

The trial already heard that a post-mortem exam found 31 separate fractures to Mr Fallon’s ribs. The State Pathologist found that he died of blunt force trauma to the head and trunk, with the chest injuries the major cause of death.

It’s the State’s case that the accused and Joseph O’Riordan assaulted Mr Fallon at his flat in the early hours of the morning, before they all went to buy alcohol.

The State maintains that Mr Hannigan then viciously assaulted Mr Fallon in a car park and that he and O’Riordan helped him into River House, where he died.

O’Riordan is currently in jail, having pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Fallon.

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

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