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Sunday 4 December 2016

Shane victim of ambush, murder jury told

Published 19/03/2011 | 09:04

THE killing of a Limerick rugby player in a case of mistaken identity was a cowardly and cold-blooded "murder by ambush", the prosecution told the jury yesterday in its closing statement.

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Garryowen rugby player Shane Geoghegan (28) was shot five times in the head and upper body on November 9, 2008, at the Clonmore Estate, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, Limerick.

Father-of-three Barry Doyle (25), of Portland Row in Dublin and Hyde Road in Limerick, denies the charge of murder at the trial at the Central Criminal Court.

The jury will resume their deliberations on Monday. Earlier, prosecution barrister Sean Guerin told the jury that the only verdict could be one of murder. Barry Doyle had laid in wait for Mr Geoghegan with "gun in hand and murder in mind", he said.

However, Mr Doyle's defence team told the court that their client had only confessed to the killing of Mr Geoghegan due to "unremitting psychological pressure" and the "threats and promises" of gardai.

Mr Geoghegan, an airline mechanic, had been on his way home from a friend's house to his own home where his girlfriend, Jenna Barry, was waiting for him.

"But unfortunately Barry Doyle was waiting too," Mr Guerin told the court. Mr Geoghegan had pleaded for his life -- "but that didn't stop him," said Mr Guerin, adding that Mr Doyle had shown "no mercy", shooting Mr Geoghegan five times, with three shots inflicted from behind -- one fatally to the back of the head.

Mr Geoghegan's mother Mary quickly brushed away a tear, watched with concern by her son, Anthony.

"It was a cowardly killing but it was also a ruthless, determined and cold-blooded one," continued Mr Guerin, adding that there could be "no motive whatsoever" for the killing.

Mr Guerin dismissed suggestions by the defence that Mr Doyle had only confessed to the murder out of love and concern for his girlfriend, Vicki Gunnery, also in garda custody.

Referring to Ms Gunnery's evidence in the trial when, asked if Mr Doyle had ever admitted to the killing, she had replied: "No, just text message," Mr Guerin told the jury that that "unguarded answer gives you the truth".

However, defence barrister Martin O'Rourke claimed gardai had used "threats and promises" to obtain an admission.

The gardai had known Ms Gunnery was the mother of a small child with a hole in her heart and had used them as "bait", telling Mr Doyle that he it was his fault a mother had been taken away from her child.

"How are you going to fix this?"gardai had said to Mr Doyle. "That's the threat and the promise -- he has it in his power to fix this," Mr O'Rourke told the jury.

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