The judge told them to voice their opinions in the jury room and speak up for themselves and play a full part in the proceedings in the jury room.
“How you come to your decision is entirely a matter for you,” Ms Justice Carmel Stewart said just before 3pm.
The issue paper asks the jury to decide guilty of murder or not guilty of murder by reason of manslaughter.
In closing speeches today, the defence said “the fair verdict, the just verdict” would be manslaughter, not murder.
Closing speeches began this morning in the trial of Michael Ferris, aged 63, of Rattoo, Ballyduff, Co Kerry, for the murder of John Anthony O’Mahony of Ardoughter, Ballyduff on the morning April 4, 2017 at Rattoo.
Mr Ferris has pleaded not guilty. The trial has been told it was all about a crow banger and defence counsel Brendan Grehan this morning said the community in ancient mystical Rattoo was being oppressed by the deceased and living in fear of a totally unreasonable person.
Mr Grehan said he rejected the prosecution claim the killing was intentional, and deliberate.
There was provocation. There was an accumulation of different matters over the years, which led his client, a gentleman, a private person, a kind, helpful man to snap, Mr Grehan said.
“We are all capable of losing it or getting excited. With some of us, it builds up slowly,” Mr Grehan said.
The defence made “absolutely no apology” for what could be seen to be “character assassination” of the deceased. Normally, one did not speak ill of the dead, he said.
“All of this was done so you can appreciate where Mr Ferris was coming from," Mr Grehan said.
“The community there was living in fear of this man,” he said of the deceased.
By contrast, no-one had a bad word for Michael Ferris – they spoke of his decency, his neighbourliness, his helpfulness, his obliging nature.
He was a man that morning at the end of his tether, he said.
The defence was not asking the jury to condone what he did – what Michael Ferris did was a terrible thing and he accepted he unlawfully killed the accused. But this was manslaughter, not murder.
'A good man who did a bad thing'
“Michael Ferris was an is a good man who did a bad thing,” Brendan Grehan said.
The counsel spoke about the scene of the crime. Rattoo was the site on an ancient monastic settlement.
“One thousand years ago”, there was a hospital, and abbey, a church and a graveyard and one of the finest round towers you would see anywhere in the country, although he himself had not heard of it until this case.
The ancient site “stands as a monument to community. People lived close to each other and shared activites,” he said.
“And really that is wat you heard in this case – people living in community, baking scones and dropping down scones to two bachelor farmers who got their dinner brought up to them, Mr Grehan said referring to Mairéad Walsh to the Ferris brothers.
“Or they might drop up eggs,” he said of the Ferris’ to Ms Walsh.
However Mr Mahony and his crow banger amounted to oppression of the community.
The crow banger was highly intrusive in particular the repetitive nature of it going “boom boom” all day long.
“The neighbours just had to put up with it because this man had a sense of entitlement," Mr Grehan said.
Patrick McGrath for the prosecution told the jury the actions of Mr Ferris, the accused, were not consistent with a sudden loss of self-control, or acting in a fury.
He had been thinking about it for a number of days.
“What is remarkable is his behaviour afterwards, the absence of regret, the absence of remorse, the absence of shock," Mr McGrath said.
The counsel refereed extensively to the interviews with detectives in which Mr Ferris agreed he had set out that morning to kill Anthony Mahony and that he drove the forks in through the car window and asked if he had set out to kill him, the accused had said:
“Well if I didn’t kill him, I would have seriously injured him anyway.”
Michael Ferris had never suffered from mental health problems, he had not acted under a sudden loss of control, Mr McGrath also said.
He knew the consequences and all the evidence pointed to a rational mind and a decision making process., the prosecution counsel also said.
Whatever about Mr Mahony’s previous dealings with the law, or run ins with his neighbours, there was “an intentional, deliberate killing” on the morning of April 4, 2017.
“And that was murder,” Mr McGrath told the jury.