Monday 25 September 2017

She did it for me, murder victim's partner tells trial

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE former partner of a New Age Traveller whose body was recovered from a slurry pit has told a murder trial that the accused said she killed the man "for" her.

Claire Freeman said she saw blood being washed off the walls of the kitchen of murder accused Una Geaney (45), and that another woman had earlier rubbed salt into the wounds of Gary Bull (37).

Ms Freeman said she also saw a wooden mallet and clothing being burned in a fireplace.

When she challenged Ms Geaney as to the fate of her former partner, Mr Bull, she claimed the accused replied: "Where a bad man stands, a tree should be planted."

Ms Geaney, of Mullinagleamig, Dingle, Co Kerry, has denied the murder of Mr Bull at Shanlaragh, Dunmanway, Co Cork, on or around September 23, 2007.

Mr Bull was a native of Hertfordshire in the UK but had been living in west Cork for a number of years as part of an extended New Age Traveller community.

At the Central Criminal Court in Cork yesterday, Mr Justice Paul Carney was told that Mr Bull was a former heroin addict who had first moved here in a bid to kick his habit.

Ms Freeman had been in a seven-year relationship with Mr Bull before she ended it in August 2007 after discovering he was having an affair.

The trial heard that Mr Bull could be very violent after alcohol and Ms Freeman had previously sought medical treatment because of such attacks.

Ms Freeman said she attended a three-day birthday party at Ms Geaney's home for a local man between September 21 and 23, 2007.

On September 23, Mr Bull arrived at the party and was intoxicated and aggressive. He also began to taunt Ms Freeman in front of other guests about the affair he had had.

After he began waving a con-saw -- a chainsaw-like tool -- over his head, he was struck by one male party-goer in the face with a large piece of timber and the saw was taken off him.

Ms Freeman said she immediately wanted to drive Mr Bull home but Ms Geaney did not want him to leave.

Kicked

Mr Bull -- who was stunned from the blow to the face -- went into Ms Geaney's home, where he was repeatedly kicked by a friend of Ms Geaney, Amanda McNab (25).

"She (Amanda) tried to rub salt into his wounds," Ms Freeman said. "(She asked) did I want to rub salt into his wounds? I said no."

Everyone except three party-goers -- Ms Geaney, Ms McNab and another man -- were then pushed into a bedroom.

Ms Freeman was worried about Mr Bull and sent a text to a friend asking for an ambulance to be called.

However, when she emerged from the bedroom Ms Geaney told her: "It's too late -- he is dead."

Ms Freeman said she saw blood dripping off the kitchen walls.

"She (Geaney) said: 'Hurry up. You know what to do. You've done this before.' They were washing blood off the walls."

Ms Freeman said she asked Ms Geaney precisely what had happened.

"She said she had smashed his head in with a mallet," Ms Freeman said.

"Amanda McNab said she had stabbed him. (They were) very calm and unremorseful.

"She (Una) said 'He is in the slurry pit' and 'I did it for you Claire.' I asked her why she had done it and she said she did it for me: 'Where a bad man stands a tree should be planted,'" Ms Freeman added.

The trial continues today.

Irish Independent

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