Thursday 8 December 2016

Woman who helped put away vicious murderer 'still haunted by disgusting images'

Paul Healy

Published 25/05/2015 | 09:17

Witness Charlene O’Connor leaving Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Thursday Pic: Court Collins.
Witness Charlene O’Connor leaving Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Thursday Pic: Court Collins.
Ciaran Moran (29) who is on trial for the murder of homeless man Gerard Donnelly

A woman who helped put away a vicious murderer who killed a homeless man has said that the killer "deserves the death penalty".

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Charlene O'Connor (23) said she "can't get the disgusting images" of the battered man out of her head and that his killer is "a psychopath".

She gave evidence at the murder trial of Ciaran Moran, who was found guilty of murdering homeless man Gerrard Donnelly (36).

Mr Moran smashed the head of Mr Donnelly with a hammer, before cutting off one of his toes and setting fire to his body inside a sleeping bag in Dublin's Phoenix Park on November 29, 2013.

Gerard Donnelly
Gerard Donnelly

The court heard how Mr Moran murdered the dad-of-one after discovering that he actually owned two homes, had €140,000 in bank accounts, and was holding €8,500 in cash.

Speaking to the Irish Sun on Sunday, Ms O'Connor described seeing the brutalised body of Mr Donnelly.

"All I see is Gerry's poor face badly swollen with blood streaming down it," she said.

"Moran's nothing but a psychopath for what he did to that poor man - he deserves the death penalty.

"People have said that I'm a rat but I'm no rat, I did this for Gerry because he didn't have anyone else," she added.

She told of how she met Mr Moran both before and after the killing, where he admitted to the crime and showed her the horrific pictures.

The pictures showed the victim's severed toe and battered face, while also showing pictures of Mr Moran both before and after the killing.

Ms O'Connor was afraid to come forward because Mr Moran had threatened anyone who did "with a bullet".

Mr Moran is now serving a life sentence for the murder, however gardai are still investigating the case.

It is understood that gardai believe Mr Moran was recruited by a foreign pair.

Gardai are also looking for another woman and man suspected of being with Mr Moran at the time of the attack.

(The Herald)

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